By Rich Landers
POACHING — Poachers sometimes get off lightly with their local courts for illegally killing fish and game in the region's hinterlands.
But when you participate in a wildlife crime that crosses state lines, you're violating the Lacey Act, which sets you up for federal law enforcement and prosecution.
Tod S. Navarro, 49, of Naples, Idaho, and others are finding out what that's all about.
Navarro pleaded guilty Monday in United States District Court to aiding the unlawful acquisition and transportation of a mountain lion in 2012, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.
Although the charge is a misdemeanor, it's punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, and up to one year of supervised release, or a maximum term of five years’ probation.
Navarro was initially indicted by a federal grand jury in Coeur d’Alene on July 16, 2013.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service takes this seriously.
According to S-R reporter Scott Maben, Navarro's son, Jacob R. Navarro, 22, also of Naples, entered a similar plea in December, as did a third man, Christopher B. Wilson, 33, of Elgin, Ore.
The three men admitted that in January 2012 they aided and abetted the unlawful hunting and transportation of three mountain lions. Each admitted he allowed his Idaho tag to be put on a mountain lion taken by a hunter from North Dakota, knowing that it was going to be transported to that state, according to the U.S. Attorney.
Jacob Navarro and Wilson are scheduled to be sentenced May 8. Tod Navarro is set for sentencing on July 21 before United States District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Coeur d’Alene.